Before I begin this post, I’d like to say that perhaps I’m incorrect in how the following is portrayed. Perhaps it’s just how it seems to me and no one else has ever noticed this. I’m honestly not sure. Still, this is an issue that has been on my mind for a while, so I’d like to express my feelings.
I’ve seen and heard a lot of people categorize their anxiety and other mental health issues as ‘invisible’ because no one can see that they’re suffering. I’ve also seen a lot of people telling these sufferers how strong they are for suffering and holding in such a difficult issue to deal with. That’s perfectly fine and I agree – struggling with something and not expressing that you struggle because you can’t find the words, etc, is hard and an individual is strong for going about their daily lives and trying so hard to stand up to their fears, etc.
What bothers me is that it sometimes seems that people put too much energy into labeling holding in ones struggles as ‘strong’. To me, that makes it seem like a person is strong because the illness or issue is ‘invisible’ or because the person chooses not to express their feelings.
Here’s the thing – anyone who lives with a mental health issue (whether invisible or not) is strong. Period. Strength is not dependent on whether or not you can ‘see’ the issue.